Alibaba, chaos on DingTalk: check out racist emoji?

05/02/2019

 

The expression recalls the racist caricatures of African Americans in the early twentieth century

 

The case breaks up on DingTalk. The corporate chat of Alibaba, in fact, would have inserted a racist emoji among the various ‘smilies’ available. A few days ago, in fact, a dark-colored face stands out, ornamented by a confused squint and cartoon-like lips.

The expression, which recalls the racist caricatures of African Americans in the early twentieth century, is located at the bottom of DingTalk’s built-in emoji list. It is not clear when it was added. A representative of DingTalk told TechNode that the emoji “had to reflect the appreciation that young people have for cultures around the world”.

“DingTalk certainly did not mean to offend, and we understand that the emoji has caused concern, we are removing the emoji and hope that users will accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by design”.

 

Possible problems for Alibaba, which has always been present all over the world

 

The emoji could be more than an embarrassment to the chat app. In fact, Alibaba has always sought to promote the efficiency offer in the workplace not only in China, but also abroad. The official DingTalk website is, therefore, available in Chinese (traditional and simplified), English, Japanese and Vietnamese. However, with missteps like these, DingTalk could face not only linguistic barriers in its effort to attract international companies.

In the United States and elsewhere, cultural representation through emoji has become a point of discussion in 2015.

 

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